SEGA is a company that has made its mark in multiple arenas, but perhaps none so much as the arcades. They took a little longer to get going than some of their fellow members of the arcade royalty, but by the mid-1980s they were starting to hit a stride that wouldn’t slow until arcades themselves did. They achieved that through a variety of means. Sometimes it was pure technological spectacle. At other times, it was through clever gameplay innovations. But SEGA also knew how to recognize a good thing and make their own spin on it, a skill shared by all of the very best arcade game makers. The 1989 release of Golden Axe [Free] was a fine example of that, combining a few popular trends into one slick, enjoyable gaming experience.
Golden Axe is back on the App Store courtesy of the SEGA Forever initiative. This is the Genesis/Mega Drive version that was already released in 2009 but pulled after it had a whammy put on it by too many iOS updates. Naturally, it’s using the new SEGA Forever emulator and feature set, so it’s not perfect, but it’s definitely close enough for most people at this point. You can play for free if you don’t mind ads interrupting you and having to be online to play, or you can splurge for the IAP to remove the ads and the ability to play offline. Whether you pay or not, you can take advantage of MFi controller support if that is your particular jam. Double-tapping can be a little tricky on the virtual pad, but otherwise Golden Axe doesn’t suffer too much if you’re playing it with touch controls. The loss of the two-player mode is a far bigger blow.
Anyway, if you’re just here to ride…
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